Long-haul bus remains suspended, workers plan to wage demo
News Desk || risingbd.com
The government has extended the ongoing lockdown for another week from May 16 midnight to May 23 midnight to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. The Cabinet Division on Sunday afternoon issued a circular to this effect on Sunday (May 16).
Long-haul buses will remain suspended during this period. As a result, transport workers are planning to wage movement demanding permission to operate the bus service.
The intra-district movement of buses is allowed while inter-district buses, water vessels, launches will remain suspended. When long-haul vehicles will run depends on the situation, according to the circular.
Osman Ali, general secretary of the Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation, told risingbd that on Eid day, we held a sit-in programme demanding permission for operating long-haul bus service. We thought that the government should have introduced long-haul buses for returning passengers to Dhaka without increasing the lockdown. As they did not do that, we will stage movement again.
He said, “Next Monday, we will send a letter to the Road Transport Minister, Home Affairs Minister and the State Minister for Labor with five demands. If it does not work, we will go on a symbolic hunger strike and human chain programme across the country.”
Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, told risingbd in this regard that long-haul buses were not allowed to run before Eid. Now the lockdown period has been extended again through circular. Long-haul bus services are still banned. We transport owners and workers are in a lot of trouble. We are losing millions of taka every day because the bus remains suspended. Many of us are not able to pay the workers. Therefore, the bus should have been allowed to run considering miseries of the workers. Long-haul buses generally maintain hygie rules. Therefore, the risk of infection is less on long-haul buses.